I wrote a note to myself after I read this chapter and what I wrote was, “Daniel 5, the part about becoming proud”.
I looked at this note a couple of days later. I was looking for some post ideas. When I looked at it I wasn’t sure why I wrote it down or what I meant so I placed the note in the back of my journal.
Over the next couple of weeks I kept bypassing this note. I would look at it, not get what I meant by the note and move on to another one.
Finally as I started running short of new ideas I decided to go back and re read Daniel 5 and see if I could figure out what it was I wanted to say when I wrote the cryptic note.
I read it and I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to say but I thought let’s give it a try and see what comes out.
What I took from this chapter is the requirement for everyone to have humility, no matter how great they are in the eyes of man or how great they think they are in the eyes of man.
The cities and temples of the Jews had been plundered and they were exiled to Babylon.
King Belshazzar succeeded his father Nebuchadnezzar as king of Babylon.
Belshazzar is in the midst of having a great time at his real big party. Like his father he decides he’s probably a god himself. Why shouldn’t he? Everyone around him worships him. All men tell him how great he is. Belshazzar figures he might as well make good use of the stuff he’s plundered from the temples of the Jews. Why not, he’s a god himself and if it’s good enough for their God well it’s good enough for him.
He must have had some primo party stuff because next thing you know he sees a finger, a finger on a disembodied hand, writing something on the wall.
Belshazzar freaks out. Wouldn’t you?
So Belshazzar calls in his court of charlatan magicians and wizards to read what this finger has written on the wall. He promises great wealth to the one who can interpret what is on the wall. But they’re all fakes and have no idea what it means.
Finally the king’s wife sees how distraught Belshazzar is and suggests he call upon Daniel to interpret just as Nebuchadnezzar did.
Daniel is summoned and offered the same riches as the magicians and wizards. Daniel lets the king know he is not doing this for money and proceeds to interpret the writing on the wall.
It’s about humility and Belshazzar has lost his and will pay the price just as his father did.
Nebuchadnezzar lost his humility and was brought down by God. Nebuchadnezzar was reduced to living like an animal.
And now here is his son, drinking from sacred goblets of God’s temple, praising false gods and thinking he is a god. Belshazzar has lost his humility.
Like his father, God will take him down, and not just reduce him to a low but recoverable stage. No God destroys Belshazzar.
I have written about the tragedies that result from pride and here is another example of how we get so full of ourselves. Someone or something will be out there to let out the air of our inflated egos.
There are consequences to our actions.
Pride is a tragic sin.
Nebuchadnezzar was prideful and was struck down. He recovered, didn’t learn his lesson and was struck down again and recovered again.
Belshazzar wasn’t so lucky. His pride got him killed.
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